Hamstring Tightness – Busting the Myth!

One of the most common misconceptions with causes of injury, around physical activity, is the idea of being ‘tight’ and therefore needing to stretch. What the general population don’t know, is that this sensation of being ‘tight’, means that muscle group has reached fatigue or is in protective mode. Muscle imbalance, injury or lack of correct activation is the real reason behind feeling tight or restricted. Sure, mobilisation and flexibility play a part in optimising performance and injury prevention, but will your ‘tight’ muscle group resolve just from this treatment?

The most common muscle group associated with this misconception is the hamstrings, particularly in runners, desk workers and dynamic sport participants. The hamstrings play a very important role in any activity that requires you to move, walk or run. They cause the leg to slow down prior to placement onto the ground when landing after the flight cycle. With dynamic sports, accelerating and decelerating over short distances is the primary activity performed; therefore, the hamstrings require the strength and endurance to complete this activity constantly. Having a ‘tight’ hamstring may consequently mean that the muscle group cannot keep up with the demands required, has reached fatigue, and is at risk of injury. Hamstring strengthening is just as important as quadriceps strengthening to improve performance, injury prevention and to optimise function.

So, if your hamstrings are ‘tight’ and you would like to complete a Functional Movement Screen to pinpoint the reason behind it, contact one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists, they can provide you with more information on how to appropriately treat your hamstrings to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. You can contact us through email at info@absolutebalance.com.au or head to our website www.absolutebalance.com.au.


Dane Stephen (B.Sc. Exercise and Health, Grad Dip – Exercise Physiology)

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AES, AEP)(ESSAM)